Easter Sunday in New Zealand

When is Easter Sunday?

Easter Sunday is on April 4, 2021.
It falls on Sunday.

How many days until Easter Sunday?

There are 30 Days left until Easter Sunday in New Zealand.

What is Easter Sunday?

Easter Sunday is a celebration recognized by Christian countries to commemorate Christ’s resurrection from death. Its date of celebration depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the Northern Hemisphere’s spring equinox (also known as vernal equinox). Thus, its celebratory date varies each year.

Although this is a festive day, it is not a public holiday in New Zealand. Meaning, businesses should follow their regular schedules. The shops can also operate on this day if the local council allows them.

Origin of Easter Sunday

Easter is one of the highly anticipated celebrations held each year. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. As told in the bible, Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity, had risen on the third day after his crucifixion and death at Calvary. Christ’s crucifixion and death are commemorated on a holiday called Good Friday. Both Good Friday and Easter Sunday are movable feasts since Easter’s date is totally dependent on the northern’s March equinox.

Who started the Easter celebration?

The first formal celebration of Easter (also called Pascha) began on the second century. The Jewish Christians are believed to be the first to celebrate Christ’s resurrection. Originally, Easter is celebrated in different dates for many countries. However, the Council of Nicaea in 325 decreed that Easter should be celebrated at the same time. So, they made the first Sunday following the first full moon after the northern’s spring/vernal equinox (on or after March 21st) as Easter Sunday’s date of observance. At present, many countries around the globe celebrate Easter annually.


Easter Sunday Traditions in New Zealand

For the Kiwis (colloquial term for New Zealanders), Easter means various festive activities and numerous entertainments. Although not observed by all Christians in New Zealand, special church services remain an important part of the celebration. Many people attend special masses held on Easter Sunday morning before enjoying any Easter-related activities. After mass, most of them join the fun of the holiday’s celebration.

Auckland’s Royal Easter Show

A popular destination for many families on Easter is the Royal Easter Show held in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand. The show is held yearly during Easter and offers several activities including egg hunts, circus rides, carnival stalls, art exhibitions, live entertainment, and the famous A&P show. The A&P show (Agricultural and Pastoral Show) highlights varied entertainments such as: farm zones with animal petting, pony rides, tractor rides, flower shows, and numerous displays and competitions. The latter events may include wood chopping competitions, eating competitions, dog agility demonstrations, dancing shows, and many others. To date, Auckland’s Royal Easter Show is still the country’s largest family show attracting thousands of visitors during the Easter holidays.

Easter symbols

Easter bunnies and Easter eggs are popular symbols marking the celebration of Easter. New Zealand, like other Christian countries, also recognized these symbols. Easter Bunny, a mythical figure believed to bring Easter eggs, are especially famous in the country during the season. Similarly, Easter eggs are equally famous too. In fact, with the holiday’s observance, bags of chocolate eggs are one of the most purchased products in New Zealand.

Easter egg hunts

Easter egg hunts is still one of the most popular traditional practices observed by the Kiwis on Easter Sunday. Most of the families enjoy the holiday by participating on these hunts. The adults would typically hide the eggs while it is the kids’ task to collect them. Once the hunt is over, rewards or special prizes may be given to the kids depending on their achievements.

Easter foods

Hot cross buns, chocolate Easter eggs/bunnies, and candies are the foods largely consumed during Easter. Although hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, these buns, along with chocolate eggs, remain the top choice of foods eaten by the Kiwis on this day. Shops and stores from across the country are loaded with these products. These places are expected to get crowded during the holiday. The favorite Easter eggs typically eaten by the Kiwis include the marshmallow eggs, traditional boxed hollow eggs, and chocolate bunnies. For the Easter meal, roasted leg of lamb is particularly famous. Easter barbecues are also popular in New Zealand. Barbecued dishes include steak, sausages, burgers, and others.

Old Easter celebration vs. New celebration

Easter season offers a long holiday weekend for the New Zealanders. In the old days, rather than spending the holidays outdoors, most of the people end up staying at home for the entire Easter weekend. The holidays are used for prayers and reflection of one’s life. Nonetheless, as years go by, traditions likewise evolved. Nowadays, Easter in New Zealand become more secular rather than religious. The long Easter weekend is now seen as a great opportunity for traveling abroad or within the country’s holiday spots. While majority partake on various Easter-related activities, a lot of people also make use of the holiday to go shopping, or just catch up with friends.

Dates of Observance for Easter Sunday
Year Date Day Holiday
2021 April 04 Sunday Easter Sunday
2022 April 17 Sunday Easter Sunday
2023 April 09 Sunday Easter Sunday
2024 March 31 Sunday Easter Sunday
2025 April 20 Sunday Easter Sunday
2026 April 05 Sunday Easter Sunday
Upcoming New Zealand Holidays
Holiday Date
Good Friday April 02, 2021
Easter Sunday April 04, 2021
Easter Monday April 05, 2021